How to Show Your Residents You Value Them
When you are renting out apartments/homes, especially in a college town, it is very important to have good relationships with your residents, to show them that you value them. This makes the renting process go smoothly on both ends and helps you establish a rapport with your residents so they will be willing to recommend your place to their younger friends when they graduate and might compel them to rent from you a year longer than they were originally planning.
If you can show them they are valued, you’ll have an easier time managing your space, having people who respect your rules, and hopefully won’t ever have to advertise your place again because your old tenants will do the advertising for you. So how exactly do you get on good terms with your tenants?
Be there for them
You obviously don’t want your tenants to be calling you at all hours of the night if they have a slight complaint but make sure they know that you are around to help them if they have issues. My roommates and I once got locked out of our apartment because the lock got jammed, and our landlords took a while to get over and help us, which was not convenient at all considering it was freezing outside and we all had midterms to study for. Your residents know you have a life too, but if you can show them that you’ll be there to help them in stressful situations that they can’t handle by themselves, they will be grateful and will feel like you care about their well-being.
You can set it up where they text/email you if it’s a complaint that isn’t super urgent but they’d like you to come look at it at your earliest convenience and then have them call you if it’s an emergency. This starts building a much-needed trust between the two parties.
Set clear boundaries and expectations
When your residents are signing the lease, make sure to lay out what you expect of them and what they, in turn, can expect of you. If you ask them to be quiet after 10 p.m. and to keep the place clean, they can possibly expect that you will, in turn, make sure that neighbors are also respectful of quiet hours and will handle any cleaning that needs to be done before they move in (if any mess was left behind by the previous tenants). You get the idea with this. If you lay everything out in the beginning and explain what is to be expected while they live there, you need to hold true to it to prove that they can trust you and that you are true to your word.
If you promise to fix anything that is caused by the place being old, and then don’t hold true on that when something breaks, your residents aren’t going to feel valued and definitely won’t be recommending your place to others. Hold up your side and watch as your residents do the same. Mutual respect is key.
Do a final walk-through with them
A lot of residents dread when landlords do the final walk-through alone because there is always some amount docked from the rental deposit, usually with no explanation as to why. Sure, some residents don’t deserve to get the whole deposit back, especially when they didn’t clean up, or damaged some of your property, but other residents will work really hard to keep everything as good as new and will feel annoyed if money is docked without them knowing why.
Do a final walk-through with them and point out any areas that would be a cause from docking from the deposit. If it’s something that they can take care of, give them the option to take care of it themselves before continuing the walk-through. This, of course, can’t work for bigger things, but if it’s just some dirt they missed or some walls that need to be spackled, I guarantee you that most tenants would appreciate the opportunity to fix it and get their whole deposit back.
Give them a warm welcome
A small act of kindness can go a long way. Whether you welcome your residents to their new place with a card when they first move in, a sweet treat for them to snack on while they unpack, or a box with some essentials to get them started (like toilet paper and some hand soap), your residents will remember it and it will help them feel at home in their new place. And who knows, they might even return the favor when they move out.
These are just a few ways to show your residents that you value them and that their well-being is important to you.